This year has thrown a lot of curve-balls. With mandated quarantine and now more time spent at home due to cancelled plans, many have taken this opportunity to evaluate their priorities and how this year will affect their future. For you, maybe this has involved some financial reflection or adjusting your monetary goals. While it is certainly important to plan for the future, have you considered using this season to reflect on your past?
Unlike the economic implications of this pandemic that are out of our control, we all make decisions that have financial impact in our daily life. We make choices everyday according to our own personal “money lens” which dictates how we view our money. In other words, your money lens is a direct reflection of your relationship to money. So, stop and consider. What does your money lens look like? Is it critical, controlling, or fear-based? Is it impulsive or frivolous? How does it reflect in your actions? Do you hoard money? Do you use it to have power over those around you or to gain status? Do you maybe give it away because you do not feel worthy of wealth?
These are just a few examples of what your money lens could be and the impact it can have on your money. If you want to make better decisions about your money, a good starting point is to become aware of why you have made your decisions so far.
As with anything, awareness is an important first step. What do your financial habits look like? After some reflection, your money lens should become apparent. After even more reflection, you may start to recognize formative events of your past that gave shape to your money lens.
Research shows that we learn our world view from a very young age, mostly by experiences we live through and by watching the people around us. Your parent’s relationship with money most likely shaped yours. Was money a source of stress in your family? Maybe no one ever talked about money, which is why you now avoid your own finances. You could have adopted your family’s money lens as your own, or you could have subconsciously decided to reject theirs and embrace the opposite because of the consequences you observed. Either way, considering the genesis of your money lens is a powerful and crucial step before moving forward and creating a positive change.
Getting in touch with your money lens can lead you to make better decisions for yourself and your future. Talk to your family members, partner, or close friends about your money lens and how it was formed. Sharing can lead to further insight and a better understanding of one another’s financial actions and reactions. Once you have identified your learned money lens, you will have a foundation to work from. Intentional awareness can keep your money lens from inhibiting your goals. Better yet, you may learn to create a healthier, more productive money lens to benefit your future.